Aromas of tangerine and orange peel on the nose are accented by notes of apricot, vanilla, honeysuckle and violets. Citrus flavors continue on the palate, joined by wild honey and white peach. The mid-palate has the weight and polish that is characteristic of classic Viognier, with crisp acidity showing on the long, pleasant finish.
Known for its floral aromatics and silky creaminess, Viognier is a food-friendly wine that evokes the tropics. Grown at higher elevations, the fruit thrives in the cooler climate. This is a classic Rhône-style Viognier from two vineyards in Oregon’s southern Rogue Valley: Fortmiller (52%) and Sundown (48%).
Vintage & Winemaking Notes
2015 was the earliest harvest in King Estate history. A dry, mild winter led to early bud break in mid- to late March, about two weeks ahead of normal. With minimal frost damage to worry about during winter, there was an abundance of fruit set by early June. Warm temperatures throughout spring and summer kept the vines ahead of their seasonal average maturation. A slight reprieve from the heat arrived around harvest and helped to preserve acidity and allowed for optimal flavor development. The fruit benefited from extended hang time and came in perfectly ripe.
The wine was fermented 25% in barrels and 75% in stainless steel before aging sur lie for five months. The barrel lot was aged in new French oak.
Situated at the tip of the Willamette Valley just southwest of Eugene, Oregon, our beautiful Estate is where our story begins. Our family-owned winery is dedicated to quality without compromise.
We responsibly produce world-class wines that are consistently excellent, consistently available and consistently reasonable in their price. That’s been our covenant to you, the people who support our winemaking.
There we go, 3 minutes late, LOL, bad bad bot, the event on meh is taking all your attention is it?
Okay here we go!
Impression before it even arrived - three cheers for getting it to me a week before the sale. I was very impressed and curious. Glad to see a white - been a very number of those yet. So I could chill the bottle, try it, and google to see how accurate am I. Was surprised to be able to fine the vineyard, but no where the wine.
First it is very much a classic Viognier. It has a silky mouthfeel and a bit of tartness that lingers, at least to my uneducated (when it comes to wine) palate. When I was reading about the 2016, it spoke of peaches and spices and olives and that is definitely not this wine. It’s definitely got a tart acidity that I do not associate with peach notes in wine. The apricot in the notes above much better describe that first sip. I do not taste vanilla, but I have a coffee lovers feeling about how that tastes, and I am sure it is quite different. But vanilla enriches anything that you add it to, so in that regard, there is a richness to the fruitiness, that comes before the slight acidity you get on the palate. I do not detect much citrus, but then again, I’ve been heavy on the citrus notes in my coffee of late, and that probably impacts my judgement.
Maybe wine lovers, and coffee lovers and the judges of both can merge their descriptors so things mean the same thing? Throw in chocolate and whiskey and we’d all do a better tasting job.
All in all it is a good wine.
Don’t ask me what I ate with it. I took distinct notice that I ignored it totally with food and as per my usual drank water with my food. Wine before and/or after is more my style.
Oh, and it was regular refrigerator cold, not wine frig cold, so might have been drinking it a few degrees cooler than is ideal.
My SiL says that his family drinks Viognier every year at Thanksgiving with turkey. And I think that if you go that route, it would work quite well.
@Cerridwyn Thanks, enjoyed your review. Curious about your coffee discoveries: what beans are you using that are giving you the citrus and how are you brewing? I used to be just dark/strong==good and though that’s true, I learned that there can be so much more to the subtle elements of good coffee.
EDIT though those guys in the salud photo seem to be having a good time just hanging out and passing around a bottle of Tequila (I presume).
Most Ethiopian beans are what is termed heirloom. they are not a specific cultivar or even close, but wild grown in the land of coffee’s origins. As a result, you get a very different bean, and a lot of variety. If you are buying roaster direct, try to be sure they are doing direct trade or some sort of small group co-op. Many still buy what might be called ‘high end’ or specialty commodity coffee, and the quality is not often there. It will still be better than 99% of what you get at the grocery store, but not as good as it could be.
Like fine wine, fine coffee has a shelf life, especially after you open that vacuum seal. There is something called the rule of 15’s which is a bit extreme, but think of it like how long you leave that bottle of wine after you open it before you toss it if you don’t drink it. It’s at it’s peak for a short window, and then not so bad for a bit longer.
@nostrom0 color looks nice in that photo. It seems this is 100% viognier though I don’t know if that’s confirmed. Viognier can definitely do that (taste sweet even with low RS). Rogue valley is in the middle of Oregon and runs a bit hotter than the northern area where Pinot Noir is favored, or WA state where things like Ch. Ste. Michelle originate. A lot of microclimates in the NW. Odd that this is just listed as Oregon instead of being in an AVA. But it’s listed as 2 specific vineyards. I’m not sure maybe there is no AVA for those; if so, you’d think the winemaker would label it that way. Interesting deal but best price by far is on the full case, and too much wine flowing in (I mean by UPS and stuff), to risk a whole case. Note: too much wine flowing in is generally a good thing.
Oddly the two vineyards specifically listed both seem to map to Dobbes Estate wines. So wonder if there was either a partnership or perhaps surplus fruit used by King Estate that year. A small % of Viognier is often used to blend in to other wines (even reds). Maybe they got extra and decided to bottle some 100% Viognier. Would love to hear the story behind this (we come here for the stories as well as the wine, amiright?)
@pmarin EDIT: It’s really hard to resist at this price. I can’t imagine it would not be quite nice. (in other words I think it would be pretty good. I’m not worried about the year 2015 for something like this, though that is probably why it’s on this deal here. Looking for something similar in my storage, I found a Rousanne/Marsanne/Viognier blend from 2012, Alexandria Nicole, Horse Heaven Hills WA, and it is spectacular. I think I found it at a “deal” at an outlet store because you know, white wines don’t retail well after about 2 years, and yet for varietals like this, I think they can actually develop well over time, which is counter-intuitive.
EDIT2 still deciding:
Me to Siri: Set reminder one hour from now by/buy wine (it figured the context and changed by to buy).
Siri to me: Done
@KitMarlot Yeah I thought it was expiring last night so I ordered then. Turns out there was another day to choose, but that’s OK, I’m sure this will be nice. I’m not worried about the age of it as long as it hasn’t become oxidized and @nostrom0 photo shows a nice pale straw color that looks very good to me (no sign of orangy tint). But I don’t know what BAU means! The only thing I find in searching is Business As Usual? I don’t know this wine specifically but I know the region and King Estate is a reputable mid-upper line producer. I’m not sure about the connection that there might be to the Dobbes links I found. I don’t know anything about Dobbes or if there is a partnership; I hadn’t heard of Dobbes until searching last night. (and possibly they are not connected at all and maybe King Estate got some contracts to purchase fruit (surplus?) from those vineyards in those years).
@nostrom0@pmarin Ha, yeah, “Business as Usual”. I guess I’ve been away from academia too long! I just meant that this is a “normal” bottling for them, not like the one-off Hawley Mendocino Viognier from a few months ago (which was awesome, by the way) made with surplus fruit. In this case, I was a little concerned about the generic ‘Oregon’ designation, but seeing that it is only 2 vineyards (which must be in different AVAs) relieved my concerns.
@KitMarlot@nostrom0 Unfortunately we don’t always get winemaker participation (seems to be about 1/3 of the time lately), and also we’ve seen that sometimes the info posted isn’t 100% accurate. I would suggest (perhaps to @Winedavid49?) that if those things were improved, there would be greater quantity sold and therefore more profit to be had!
So I’m not sure if this was a one-off (or two-off apparently) production.
I’m not sure if the two vineyards listed are accurate, but probably, and if so, why do they only show up on listings for Hobbes Estate?
And why not a Rogue Valley AVA? But perhaps that doesn’t have much name recognition and “Oregon” was good enough, or maybe there was some legal reason it didn’t meet the requirements to use the AVA.
In any case I already ordered and I’m sure I will be happy at this price for sure, but I always like to learn more about what I am getting.
EDIT it’s quite possible that one or both of these vineyards, if in fact those are the source, might not fall within the map boundaries of the AVA, so perhaps that’s the reason. They are quite high altitude (1600 and 2100 according to Hobbes info), which is unusual since the hills in that area only top out at 2000-3000 ft I think. But I think that might benefit the character of this wine if in fact that’s the source.
@osiris3mc It looks like King Estate holds their Viognier for some time. The current release appears to be 2016.
Since they aged it ‘sur lies’ it likely means that full MLF occurred and this will drink more like a mature, aged Chardonnay than a fresh, vibrant Sauv Blanc. YMMV.
@osiris3mc I don’t have a concern in this case because I’ve had good experience with older white wines of this type, and I feel they can actually improve in some ways (become softer and fuller, but lose some “brightness”). I haven’t had this wine specifically but a Rat photo showed a nice color with no oxidized tint, so I’m hoping for the best.
I am gobsmacked that this ships to OH, is that a typo? No previous King Estate offers have shipped to OH @WineDavid49
Saw this coming a mile away but my post was ignored. While it seems that there are less ship-to list mistakes on Casemates than the old site, it may just be because I don’t pay that much attention anymore. I used to bring it up a lot and most of those posts were also ignored. I’m surprised that WCC still cannot figure out how to post an accurate list on a regular basis (without blaming it on the wineries - “they provide the list”, mmhmm).
Yeah, I just saw the cancellation, but no info as to why! Then I hit the link to find out why and it asks for the order number, so I go to look up my order and it’s not listed…But OH is still listed! I feel like a Rat chasing its tail! So who’s on 1st?